Responses of Dendroctonus brevicomis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Behavioral Assays: Implications to Development of a Semiochemical-Based Tool for Tree Protection

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Currently, techniques for managing western pine beetle, Dendroctonus brevicomis LeConte (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae), infestations are limited to tree removals (thinning) that reduce stand density and presumably host susceptibility, and/or the use of insecticides to protect individual trees. There continues to be significant interest in developing an effective semiochemical-based tool for protecting trees from D. brevicomis attack, largely as an alternative to conventional insecticides. The responses of D. brevicomis to tree volatiles and verbenone were documented in eight experiments (trapping assays) conducted over a 4-yr period in which 88,942 individuals were collected. Geraniol, a tree volatile unique to Pinus ponderosa that elicits female-specific antennal responses in D. brevicomis, did not affect D. brevicomis behavior. Blends of two green leaf alcohols [hexanol + (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol] tested at two release rates (5.0 and 100.0 mg/d) had no effect on the response of D. brevicomis to attractant-baited traps. A nine-component blend [benzaldehyde, benzyl alcohol, guaiacol, nonanal, salicylaldehyde, (E)-2-hexenal, (E)-2-hexen-1-ol, (Z)-2-hexen-1-ol, and (‐)-verbenone; NAVV] and subsequent revisions of this blend disrupted the response of D. brevicomis to attractant-baited traps in all experiments. The inhibitory effect of a revised five-component blend [nonanal, (E)-2-hexenal, (E)-2-hexen-1-ol, (Z)-2-hexen-1-ol, and (‐)-verbenone; NAVV5] on the response of mountain pine beetle, D. ponderosae Hopkins, to attractant-baited traps was also documented. Acetophenone significantly reduced D. brevicomis attraction, but was not as effective as verbenone alone. Acetophenone increased the effectiveness of NAVV5 in one of two experiments. Furthermore, by adding acetophenone to NAVV5 we were able to remove the aldehydes from NAVV5 without compromising effectiveness, resulting in a novel four-component blend [acetophenone, (E)-2-hexen-1-ol + (Z)-2-hexen-1-ol, and (‐)-verbenone; Verbenone Plus]. We discuss the implications of these and other results to development of Verbenone Plus as a semiochemical-based tool for management of D. brevicomis and D. ponderosae infestations.

Keywords: Dendroctonus ponderosae; Pinus ponderosa; acetophenone; nonhost angiosperm volatile; pest management

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2012

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